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Thursday Links

"Sometimes the game is a tale of two halves. We really got our defense short in the 3rd quarter. Devean George helped us out quite a bit. Dampier had a monster half for us. We challenged him to have a strong second half and he did. Then we just had efforts from everybody. We got some stops and we were really aggressive at going to the basket. Fortunately for us we were able to win."
- Avery Johnson
I don't have much time today to discuss that great game last night or Dirk's ankle. So quickly, Devean George probably starts in his absence - and it's going to be really important for JET, J-Ho, Dampier, Devin, Stack, and pretty much everyone else to better in his absence.

Dirk thinks he'll be fine.
"Whenever this happens, at first it always scares you," Nowitzki said. "But I've done this a thousand times before, and the doctor told me it's just a sprain, and I know I'll be all right."

Dwain Price writes about the AI trade and has a quote from Dirk about Iverson in Dallas.
"That would have been a pretty amazing change," Nowitzki said. "We went to the Finals last year, and I don't know if you want to make a drastic change like that.

"I think bringing a guy in like that, obviously with the offensive talent he has, I don't know if the chemistry would be the same. Those are all questions you don't know."
That was kind of my position.


Former Iverson teammate Jerry Stackhouse has his doubts about Iverson and Anthony together.
"He has aspirations of winning scoring titles, no matter who's on his team," Stackhouse said. "I'd say give it until the end of the season. Somebody might want to get out."

"Yesterday on ESPN, it was: Whose team is it?" Stackhouse said. "It still remains to be seen [how it will work out]."

Injury Report: Dirk is optimistic about a quick return.
"It was kind of a freaky play,'' Nowitzki said after the Mavericks' 103-95 win over the Seattle SuperSonics at KeyArena. "The dude (Sonics' forward Chris Wilcox) kind of lost balance in the air, and I was trying to run back. And he kicked right in my ankle, and I rolled it pretty good. At first, it scares you. It was pretty sore there when it happened, but it's all right now.

"Looking at it now, I'm already pretty good. I've rolled it so much now, that I don't really get much swelling. I'm hopeful for Friday (against the Los Angeles Clippers). Definitely after Christmas, but I'm hoping for Friday.''
That would be pretty amazing.


Around the League: Phoenix didn't win last night against Denver. Their game was snowed out.

Utah almost lost their second in a row last night. The 9-15 Hawks blew a 21 point fourth quarter lead to let the Jazz win by 6.

The Knicks won their second game in a row last night. This time with an amazing buzzer beater with just one tenth of a second left on the clock. (watch it here) Jamal Crawford threw an inbounds pass towards the rim and David Lee jumped and "tipped" the ball in for the win. The debatable fact that Lee scored in .1 seconds (Lee appeared to essentially palm the ball in midair then shoot - not tip) isn't what was amazing about the play. What was amazing is that the Charlotte defense let it happen. The NBA rulebook dictates that with less than .3 seconds remaining on the clock the only way a team can score is on a tip in. So where or where might the pass go? Yet as the pass came toward the rim the Bobcats looked shocked as only one defender was near the basket, 6'7" Gerald Wallace. Had 6-17 Charlotte simply placed their tallest player Emeka Okafor (or even their entire team) in front of the rim, instead of on the ball, to knock down any pass triple overtime would have been likely. Instead Charlotte lost and is now 6-18. Every night in the NBA there is one play the leaves Wes scratching his head. Tonight it was this one.